Update: Is anyone soaping “99%” on their windows tomorrow?
The Big Dawg has weighed in regarding OccupyWallStreet and says that the movement has to start making its intentions known. He suggested that OccupyWallStreet get behind Obama’s jobs program but we’ve already seen what a failure that bill was. It was too little, too late and came with too many long term effects to social security. But now that OWS has seized Pilate’s wife, it has to issue some demands.
So, assuming that the 99% want some say over what to do with the money they earn through actual, you know, *work*, part of the task has to be to get politicians to rewrite the rules and reimpose regulations so we don’t get screwed again. At the top of the agenda should probably be some set of policies that reward people who make their living from work over people who make their living through investments. If it is the case that the 1% has the money to lobby the rulemakers to write the rules in its favor, then it must also be the case that there are rulemakers who will happily do its bidding and not ours. The only way to change that is to get rid of a lot of rulemakers and replace them with rulemakers who are more to our liking. And the only way to do that is to vote the compromised rulemakers out of office. But before we get to the point where we decide who gets to stay and who has to go, there has to be a mechanism in place that will ensure the integrity of the voting process. Because, as we have seen recently, the rulemakers are very intent on preventing the wrong kind of people from voting. Then there is the problem of voting machines. They are very easy to hack and most states do not require a paper trail.
There is a proposed remedy for this. Rush Holt, congressman from NJ’s 12th district, has proposed a bill called the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005.
On February 2, 2005, Rep. Rush Holt reintroduced the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HR 550), a bill designed to restore confidence in the outcomes of elections and in our electoral process generally. The measure would require all voting machines to produce an actual paper record that voters can inspect to check the accuracy of their votes and that election officials can use to verify votes in the event of a computer malfunction, hacking, or other irregularity. Experts often refer to this paper record as a “voter-verified paper ballot.”
“Anything of value should be auditable,” said Holt. “Votes are valuable, and each voter should have the knowledge—and the confidence—that his or her vote was recorded and counted as intended. Passage of this bill will be a big step in restoring that confidence, which is the very foundation of our democratic republic.”
The bill was sponsored in 2005 and was reintroduced by Holt in 2009, probably with the sunny optimistic view that with Democrats in the driver’s seat, the bill would have a prayer. But it has been sitting in committees ever since. I guess it was too much to ask the Democrats to pass it when they had majorities in both houses, because that would have been politically astute and the right thing to do but Democrats don’t seem to have a good sense of self-preservation. Don’t expect the Republicans to do it. That’s not their thing. But if there is a movement demanding its passage, well, that would be a very big step in the right direction. Because no matter how popular this movement is, it can’t do a damn thing if there are irregularities with the voting system. When the vote is compromised and can’t be reliably verified, you’ve already lost.
Consider it a ‘first principles” thing. Demand the integrity of the voting system so that the 99%’s voice can never be overridden during a election. You’ll see pretty quickly who’s on your side and who isn’t and the answer may surprise you. It also has the added benefit of favoring neither party, which is what you want. The act is only intended to benefit voters and make sure there is a verifiable paper trail. And who among the 99% can argue against that? Part of the problem with this country is that people don’t think their votes count. Here’s a way to make sure they do. (We’ll have to tackle the corrupt party primaries separately)
Voting should be orgasmic.